FAQs

Provided below are answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you do not find your answer here, please contact the APCO Institute.


Taking an APCO Course

Who can take APCO Institute classes?
APCO Institute does not have any restrictions for those wishing to take our courses. However, some of our training courses, such as Emergency Medical Dispatch and Instructor courses, have specific prerequisites that need to be met prior to enrolling in the class.

How do I register for a class?
Registering for any of our courses is simple. Visit the Schedule and Registration page. Choose the course you wish to attend and click on the button in front of the class. Then click the registration button.

If I take an APCO class and fail the final exam do I get to take it again?
Students are afforded two attempts to successfully pass the final exam. If a student fails the final exam on both attempts then the instructor will notify the Education and Training Administrator. The student will have one week from the end of class to notify the Education and Training Administrator to make arrangements for remedial training. Remedial training is offered and based on the level of participation and contribution the student makes in the classroom.

What are the class hours?
Live classes generally run from 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. with one hour for lunch, but this can vary depending on the hosting agency and instructor preference. Class times will be noted in your course confirmation email.

Can I purchase the class materials without taking the course?
Only qualified APCO Agency Instructors are permitted to purchase course materials. This ensures that the student will receive quality instruction taught by an APCO instructor that has been trained and certified to teach that particular course.

How can I be assured that I am receiving the best and most current information and training available?
Industry issues are continuously monitored and updated by industry experts through our membership, who work within the industry.

I'm in the private industry. Would your courses be of benefit to me?
PST1 provides a great foundation for anyone that is working in the field of public safety communications, whether you work in a PSAP or in the commercial arena.


Online Courses

What are the hardware requirements for online classes?

What are the software requirements for online classes?

It is recommended that Mac/Apple users download Firefox or Google Chrome for best results. Our classroom does not support Safari.

How long does it take to complete an online course?
APCO Institute Online conducts courses via the Internet. Depending on the course you wish to take, the courses range from three weeks to seven weeks to complete. The time spent online is about four to five hours per week. 

Do online courses have real instructors?
All of our core courses and a number of specialty courses are available to take online. Our online courses are NOT self-taught. There is an active instructor who will work with each student on a timely basis. You are not required to be on line any particular day or time.  Registrants are required to check into the course each week between Wednesday and Friday. Some assignments are uploaded to the instructor, while others are uploaded directly online.    Additional assignments are due by midnight the following Tuesday.   Once you upload your work to the instructor, that is when he or she will get back with you, challenge your responses, have you communicate with other students in the class, etc. Tuition for the on line class is $50 higher than our live classes due to the online process.


Paying for APCO Training

Is there a discounted price for members?
We offer discounts on all our training manuals and courses to APCO members (excluding the Leadership Certificate Program).

How can I join APCO International?
Becoming an APCO Member is easy. Go to the membership page and choose the membership type and follow the link to either an online or printable application form.

My agency doesn't have a training budget. Can APCO help me get the training I need?
As a member benefit, scholarship funds are available to members through the Silent Key and Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) Scholarship Award Program. To receive a scholarship, applicants must be current APCO Members and maintain APCO membership throughout the scholarship period. Scholarship funds may apply to books, tuition, and/or registration costs for APCO Institute classes and the APCO Virtual College. Up to $500 of the award may be applied to travel or living expenses to attend an APCO International Conference. Applications will be accepted from January 1 through March 31.
icon Silent Key & CAC Scholarship Information


Certifications and Continuing Education

Where can I find more information about certification and recertification?
Details about certification and recertification are available here.

Do I need to renew my Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 certification?
Public Safety Telecommunicator 1, 7th Edition recertification requires that you complete 24 hours of continuing dispatch education (CDEs) each year during the two-year certification period. So, a total of 48 CDEs is required for each certification period

What about continuing education for myself and my telecommunicators?
APCO offers online access to our continuing education articles in our bi-monthly Public Safety Communications Magazine. We also offer a web seminar series and online training videos. 

What type of training will count toward required CDE hours for recertification?
In-service training, APCO PSC magazine CDE quizzes, conference sessions, public-safety certification classes, training webinars, and Illuminations sessions. If you are not sure please contact APCO Institute at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I see that APCO has EMD online now. Can I use this training as EMD certification for my agency if we use another EMD vendor?
No. APCO's online EMD course is a component of the EMD Program. You may not use the EMD certification obtained from the course with another vendor's guidecards.

How do I get a copy of my certificate?
To print a copy of a certificate you have earned within the last 5 years:

  1. Access Training Central here (Or from apcointl.org, proceed to Training and Certification, then Training Central.)
  2. Once in Training Central, click on “My Classes Taken”
  3. Log in using your email address and the password you created.

    If you do not recall your password or did not set it up, click the “Forgot your password” link. You will be emailed a link to reset your password. Watch your spam as well. 
  1. Find the class you wish to print a certificate for and click the “Print” button.

Certificates achieved before 2011 can be obtained by filling out the certificate reprint form.


Hosting and Contracting APCO Courses

How does our agency host a class?
Hosting an APCO Institute class is easier than you may think. When your agency hosts a class this allows you to bring APCO training to your area on your schedule. You may choose to host any one of our APCO training courses. 

What are the requirements for hosting a course?

If you are interested in co-hosting one of APCO’s Public Safety Communications classes, this will give you all the pertinent information on the process.    

  1. We need a minimum of 3-4 months’ notice to set up the class. This will give us ample time to get the word out on the course in order to garner the needed number of registrations required to confirm the class.
  2. I.e. - CTO has a minimum of (15) students required. CTO-Instructor has a minimum of (16) students required.
  3. You, as the host agency, will need to provide a training room that will seat 20-30 comfortable and assist our instructor with some audio/ visual aids, etc.
  4. APCO Institute provides the instructor and training materials. You are NOT responsible for any costs incurred by our instructor.
  5. As the host agency, once the class is confirmed you would receive 1 complimentary registration. Any additional registrations would involve the tuition which for example, CTO is $349 per person and $459 for CTO-Instructor course.
  6. If for any reason, the class does not confirm and must cancel, there is no cost to you.

How do we get started?

Complete and return the co-host package to the Institute.

Can my agency contract to have APCO teach a course at our agency?
With a contract class your agency would be responsible for providing APCO with payment for all students (registered) based on the agreed contract terms. These classes typically do not cancel due to registrations because we require that the agency meets the minimum # of registrants depending on the discipline prior to creating the contract. Once we know how many students you plan to have attended the course, we will send a contract quote for approval, and signature so that we may then begin the process of identifying an adjunct to instruct the class. (FYI- it will be the contract agency’s responsibility (you) to receive payment from each organization once the class concludes.) 


Other

How can I contribute to APCO Institute training?
There are several ways you can become more involved in training with APCO Institute. You can earn your instructor certificate in our core courses and possibly become an adjunct instructor. You can participate in work groups in the development of training courses and assist with continuing education credits.